I was looking forward to reading the final installment of Amelia Grey’s The Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels Trilogy, unfortunately Wedding Night With the Earl fell far short of my expectations. While the main characters showed promise, there simply wasn’t enough of a plot to carry an entire book. This should have been a Regency Novella or perhaps a simple romantic Short Story.
Adam Greyhawke has unexpectedly come into an inheritance and a title along with finding himself shackled with his five year old orphaned heir, Dillon. Due to his new responsibilities, Adam must return to London after a two year absence where he meets up with his best friends, Bray and Harrison. Both childhood buddies have been supportive of his overwhelming grief and self imposed exile after the horrific loss of his wife Annie who died in childbirth. Adam has vowed never to remarry so as not to repeat the tragic loss of another spouse and babe. Yet on his first night back in society he discovers the beauteous Katheryn Wright who bewitches him by repeatedly refusing to partner him in a dance. Kathryn has suffered her own loss due to a tragic carriage accident which resulted in the death of her parents and siblings, leaving her slightly crippled at the age of seven. Living with her father’s siblings who coddle her due to her infirmity, her uncle, the Duke of Quillsbury, insists that she choose a husband from amongst her numerous suitors by the end of her current third season. While she has several gentlemen on her short list of possible future mates, it is the ineligible Earl of Greyshawke who has stolen her heart. He boldly gives Kathryn her first kiss (one full of passion, not a gentle peck) bringing to the surface the ardent feelings which have so far been absent in her life. Despite Adam’s determination to stay away from the vixen who has stirred his blood with her willingness to comply with each of his scandalous actions mirrored by her own innate desires, the two are thrown together on numerous occasions where they unable to keep their amorous tendencies at bay. Only through a strong will is Adam able to avert the consummation of their relationship. In Kathryn he sees an intelligent, independent woman who, with the proper encouragement, should be able to throw away her cane and even learn to dance. In order to find true love, both must be willing to take a leap of faith and overcome the millstones from their past.
A plus was the addition of friends Bray and Garrison whose romances were told in Books One and Two of the series. Both wives, Louisa and Angelina, are expecting so they were not involved in the social scenes. References were also made to the Prim siblings who were prominent in the first book, A Duke in My Bed and the novella, The Duke and Miss Christmas. I would have liked to have seen some of these lively characters take a more active role, perhaps spicing up some of the gaps in this story. Instead the book is full of repetitive reflections replacing the potentially exciting activity which would have taken the storyline to the next level rather than leaving us with a staid plot. Even the sexual encounters became tedious.
With better character development (especially of the secondary characters), less introspection, and some much needed action, this story would have been a more interesting read. The title is also misleading as the Wedding Night is a relatively brief interlude which doesn’t occur until almost the end of the book. Two and a half stars. This review also appears on Goodreads.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.